Copyrights and Photo Ownership

Unless a contract has been signed stating otherwise, the federal Copyright Act states that the photographer owns the copyrights in the photographs and thus controls how they may be used. Copyright law is slanted in favor of the creator. The copyrights of photos are given to the photographer, not the model. The exception is if the model (or client) pays the photographer for his services, and prior to shooting gets a contract signed by the photographer stating that the work will be a “work for hire”. However, this prior designation of an independent contractor’s work as a “work for hire” can only be done when the work falls into one of the following nine categories: (1) contributions to a collective work; (2) parts of a motion picture or other audio visual work; (3) translations; (4) supplementary works; (5) compilations; (6) instructional texts; (7) tests; (8) answer material for a test; or (9) atlases. If you are paying a photographer for his services and wish to receive the copyright of the photos taken, be sure to get them to sign a copyright transfer release (your responsibility). The ownership between the photographer and a client should be clearly stated and agreed upon in writing by both parties as the first item in the contract. It may be difficult to find photographers who will do this without significant compensation.

With that said, even when a photographer owns the copyright of a photo, they cannot publish or sell a model’s photo without a signed model release. Nor can a model publish photographs without a signed publication release from the photographer (even if the model paid for the images).

Photographs taken at public events are considered newsworthy, and in most instances do not require a release.

Photos taken of public people such as the President or a celebrity do not require a signed model release because they are considered “public people”. (written by Zero Dean)

Coach Inc has opened its first online store in China

Coach Inc has opened its first online store in China.

The CEO of Coach says this:

The new store will help us increase our understanding of the needs and preferences of China’s online shoppers, helping us accumulate valuable experience in China’s e-commerce landscape and gaining insights to potentially pave the way for the development and launch of a permanent online Coach store in China.”

knowledge is power

As with any career, it is important to plan. As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. You will get much farther and be more effective if you are organized, set realistic goals, and then set about to achieve those goals. You need to consider everything from how to get started and how to market yourself to how you will position yourself when paid offers for shoots that come in or a photographer’s behavior or request makes you uncomfortable. (don’t sacrifice your morals)

As with any skill, practice and experience will make you better. Therefore, if you take your aspiring career seriously, it is important that you are either getting experience, practicing what you need to become better at, or both.

Be informed. Study. If there is a particular market you can see yourself fitting into, research it. Study the models in magazines. Find out who your favorite models are. Find out how they started out and became successful. One of the most common ways of becoming successful is emulating the behavior, attitude, and drive of those who became successful.

Understand a little bit about photography. Understand what makes a good photograph. Find out what types of photos you like best. Keep these photos in mind when you are shooting. (Written by Los Angeles photographer, Zero Dean.)

Liv Tyler is set to make her singing debut for Givenchy when she teams up with the brand and Sony Music Entertainment to create ”an electrifying meeting between the world of rock and the universe of perfume”.

a models reputation

Just as it is important to consider who you work with, it is also important to take every aspect of your reputation seriously. Every time you work with someone, you are building onto your reputation. The impression you leave those you work with can have a potentially significant impact on your career. You will typically get much farther and progress much faster if you have a reputation that works for you, rather than have one that may be questionable.

Don’t be flaky. If you schedule a shoot with a photographer, don’t cancel at the last minute. Last minute cancellations are often done at great expense to the photographer who gave up valuable time to schedule working with you. When you cancel unexpectedly, it means that regardless of whether the photographer was paying you or getting paid, productivity is lost and that time is wasted. Photographers will often not work with a model again if she cancels a shoot without sufficient notice. (Written by Los Angeles photographer, Zero Dean.)

Hanna Ben Adbesslem

“As one of the fastest rising stars in the business Hanaa Ben Abdesslem is certainly having a moment. The Tunisian stunner is the newly minted face of Lancome, a favorite of Givenchy‘s Riccardo Tisci and is quickly racking up editorial milage in choice publications like V and Vogue Paris.”

It started with a great photo session and a runway that contributed to Hanaa’s breakthrough moment. Also, she knows what she wants when it comes to style & color.

In an interview she says…

MDC: How were you discovered?

Hanaa: It is a bit of a long story. I dreamt of being a model when I was young, but so many have that dream and only a few are able to make it a reality. By chance I met a business woman named Sophie and she connected me to IMG. That led to my first photo shoot for Vogue Paris and starting to do runway shows.

MDC: Are there any misconceptions or difficulties you’ve had to deal with being an Arab model?

Hanaa: There are misconceptions, yes both at home and abroad but the good outweighs the bad. Where I’m from there really isn’t a big fashion industry the way there are in other places. It was always my dream to work in that business and now that I’ve succeeded I hope to become an example for others.

MDC: You’re surrounded by amazing clothes every day, what is your personal style like?

Hanaa: I actually love wearing all black, I’m drawn to very simple things and I think that reflects my personality.

You are unique

I will be talking about 10 things every model needs to know for the next week.

The 4th is “you are unique”

Many aspiring models feel that because they are beautiful, photographers will line up to take their photos. In some rare instances, this might actually be true. But at the same time, you need to position yourself in a way that advances your career and uses all of your available resources to your advantage. I’ve worked with numerous models that are substantially more attractive than major successes like Brittany Spears or Paris Hilton. So why aren’t they also huge successes? Because being extremely successful in this industry generally involves more than just good looks.

It is important to recognize that there are thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of aspiring models out there and they’re all seeking work. If you are serious about advancing your career, then it is important that you take steps to distance yourself from the pack and give yourself every advantage you can over the countless others all seeking the same things.

Don’t settle for situations where working with someone will not benefit your portfolio or your career. And by all means, if you’re at all serious about modeling as a career or a potential source of income, be extremely discriminant about the photos you use in your portfolio. I will say this repeatedly in these pages, your portfolio is not a scrapbook.

With that said, a career in modeling usually requires a model to start from the bottom and work her way up. This means that not all jobs will be glamourous or high paying. And sometimes the best opportunities in your career will barely seem like opportunities at all. It is important to consider all opportunities very carefully. And if you’re already accustomed to getting paid for your time, it is important to consider when collaborating with a photographer for “free” may be worth more than any monetary reimbursement for time.

For example, photographers may sometimes work on creative projects that don’t involve compensating the participants. Yet the results from such a project could end up being worth their weight in gold and one of the highlights of your portfolio. A single photo could get you exposure leading to countless more paid opportunities. (Written by Los Angeles photographer, Zero Dean.)